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Functional characterisation of gut mast cells in irritable bowel syndrome.

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common yet difficult to treat chronic disorder characterized by abdominal pain combined with diarrhea and/or constipation. Mast cells are tissue-resident immune cells which are involved In the pathophysiology of IBS by activating and sensitizing sensory nerves endings, but the mechanisms and mediators involved are unknown. We aim to study these mast cells using a novel culture model developed by the Laboratory of Immunology of the University of Antwerp. This human mast cell culture will be incubated with mediators which are important in IBS pathophysiology. Markers of inhibition / activation and histamine release will then be measured using flowcytometry to study whether mast cells are indeed overly sensitive to their immediate environment in IBS compared to health.The goal of this research project is to advance knowledge on IBS pathophysiology, and to develop biomarkers which will allow to personalize IBS treatment.
Date:1 Apr 2019 →  30 Mar 2020